via FLickr

Do voter ID laws hurt minorities?

A look at the current identification systems in place

Voting needs to remain a safe and trustworthy practice.

It’s less than a year until the 2020 elections and with recent talk about voter ID laws getting swirled on the internet among different groups of people, I thought I would explain a little about voter ID laws and why they do not hurt minorities.

To vote in North Dakota, a person would need either a driver’s license, non-driver’s license ID, tribal identification or a long-term care certificate issued by a North Dakota facility. That ID must list the person’s name, date of birth, address, photo and they must have lived in the state for the past 30 days. 

North Dakota is the only state to not register people to vote. Some claim that it unfairly hurts immigrants and people of color, but I think that these laws are reasonable. 

There must be a system where those who are not allowed to vote don’t accidentally vote. The right to vote is given to U.S. citizens who are 18 years old or older. However, there could be a chance for someone with the wrong intentions to commit voter fraud, but that is rare.

Since I am a person of color, some people claim these laws would disenfranchise me from voting. I’ll walk through the steps I took to vote in the 2018 midterms, which was my first-time voting. 

I went to my voting precinct on election day and presented my driver’s license to the poll worker. The poll worker scanned my ID into a computer and asked me to confirm that I was a US citizen and had lived at my current address for at least 30 days. 

I said yes to both questions and was directed to another poll worker who put her initials on the ballot and gave it to me. I sat down at a table and picked my choices on the ballot. Once I was done, I placed it into a machine and was given an “I Voted” sticker. I then left. 

Getting one of the four forms of identification is not difficult. The documents needed for a typical ID are relatively easy to get such as a birth certificate, social security card and bank statements.

The “voter suppression” of voter ID laws simply does not exist because minorities are likely to have such documents as readily available as anyone else.

I encourage you to vote if you are qualified to do so. If you have a ballot you don’t have to vote for all the candidates/issues on the ballot. You are free to skip things on the ballot and not complete it entirely if you choose to.

Like I said earlier, minorities are likely to have the required documents to get an ID just like anyone else. The integrity of the election system must be protected and having these laws in place only ensures that a person’s choice is being made in a safe manner that is free from interference.

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